COMMENTARY: Obama Sidesteps NAACP Confab

Comments: 9  | Leave A Comment
  • advertisement
  • President Barack Obama is skipping the NAACP’s annual convention this week in what some are calling a snub to the nation’s oldest civil rights organization at a time when the black unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 14.4 percent – twice the rate of whites.

    The decision to dispatch Vice President Joe Biden to Houston on Thursday to fill in for Obama is a missed opportunity for the president to rally the faithful. With four months to go until Election Day, the presidential race has tightened considerably with all major polls showing Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat.

    Romney will have a chance to connect with black voters in Obama’s absence when he addresses the NAACP convention on Wednesday. It will be a curious contrast this week in Houston: NAACP delegates who worked so hard to help elect Obama as the nation’s first black president, will not see their black commander-in-chief on stage, but instead, a convention hall packed with black activists will be treated to speeches by Romney and Biden.

    So why is Obama taking a pass on the NAACP?

    The Obama campaign hasn’t released a public explanation and while it’s true that Obama can’t be everywhere, there are some social justice organizations that should take priority and the NAACP should be one of them.

    For the past year, I’ve listened to Obama campaign advisers correctly tell me that the November race could be one of the closest presidential elections in history and that every single vote will count.

    And today, millions of African-Americans are at risk of being ineligible to vote in this year's presidential election because of strict voter identification laws. Thirty-two states have pending laws that call for voters to present government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot and civil rights activists maintain the laws are specifically designed to keep minorities from voting.

    So if the stakes are so high, why wouldn’t Obama want to speak to NAACP delegates when he needs an army of grass-roots foot soldiers to canvass black neighborhoods, knock on doors, make telephone calls, send e-mails, and drive folks to the polls in November?

    I received a dozen e-mails from black journalists and veteran Democrats on Capitol Hill who said Obama could have discussed a range of social issues, including his thoughts about the soaring black unemployment rate, the HIV-AIDS crisis in the black community, and high college tuition costs.

    “The Obama campaign may believe black folks are already in the bag and they don’t feel Obama should waste his time speaking to the NAACP,” said one black journalist who covers politics. "The decision for the president to take a pass makes no sense."

    Several black Democrats in Washington, D.C., speculated that the Obama campaign wants to focus on white, undecided, working-class voters who could decide the election.

    “It’s disrespectful to the NAACP,” said one black Democrat on Capitol Hill. “The campaign is hoping that we’re a forgiving people and will vote enthusiastically in November.”

    The NAACP has a long history of mobilizing masses of black voters during presidential elections and there’s certainly no reason to believe the NAACP will slow its voter-outreach movement now. In fact, the NAACP is gearing up for an unprecedented goal: to move one million black voters to the polls in November.

    And while NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock says the Obama no-show is “not a concern for us,” because “Vice President Biden is a friend to the NAACP,” Clarence Wilson, an NAACP delegate from Williamsburg, Va., said he’s disappointed, adding that Obama should have attended the convention to fire up the NAACP troops.

    "This whole election is about enthusiasm and getting people really charged up to get out there and vote," Wilson told NPR.

    It’s unfortunate that NAACP delegates won’t hear directly from Obama this week but in the meantime the president’s campaign advisers are hoping that black voters like Clarence Wilson will still support Obama unconditionally.

     

    Tags: » »

    • More Related Content

    Comments

    9 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Obama Sidesteps NAACP Confab

    1. This a strategical gamble by The President, he know that 97% Blacks will vote for him for sure, attendance is the the major concern.

      Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden,Michael Cottman,and Roland Martin’s job is to fire up Blacks through the newsmedia

      President Obama is deeply concerned that he will be labelled a “racist” by White working males.Let’s face it statistic shows that only approx 4 million voters in “Swing States” like Ohio, Wiss. NC, Penn, Colo, Fl, Mo ,Mi will decide the election , and those votes are controlled mostly by Independent White working Males

    2. Would you feel the same way if the current President was white? I don’t think so and you would be correct in not letting him or her off the hook. Our president is taking the black vote for granted and he should be called out on it. And don’t be surprised to know that there are blacks who will either stay home or vote for Romney.

    3. This is why the naacp cannot be taken seriously. They provide 97% of the vote for this president and this is how he shows his gratitude. Complete and utter disrespect toward the black community and then have the nerve to send this clown surrogate to speak to them. Our vote is definitely being taken for granted and everybody except us knows it. At least Romney the actual presidential candidate took time out his busy schedule to address them, yet obama has mounds of excuses for not showing up. He can show up in person at $30k dinners in Hollywood but can’t even show up to speak to his own people, and we sit back an except this treatment. I am embarrassed for black people but especially the naacp because it shows just how irrelevant they have become for all in this nation to see. We as a people have truly been underserved and are in desperate need for a true leader.Dr.King must be rolling over in his grave and would be extremely disappointed in what we have for supposedly leadership. Not one member from the cbc, sclc, naacp or concerned black clergy has stepped forward to express their disappointment in the way the president treated the naacp, we are truly a lost people.

    4. “The Obama campaign may believe black folks are already in the bag and they don’t feel Obama should waste his time speaking to the NAACP,” said one black journalist who covers politics.”

      The truth is Obama has already got Black people in the bag!!!! I already knew this!!!! Anyway, If the NAACP is upset over Obama not showing up to they convention, the NAACP shouldn’t support Obama.

    5. “We have to remember that he is the President of the United States, not just African Americans.”

      I hear this a lot. Like I always said, try telling other groups (GLBT, Latinos, Asians, Jews, etc.) that Obama is the President of the United States, not just other groups. Other groups do what Black people don’t do, practice group politics. If a group supports a candidate, they expect something in return from that candidate. If that group don’t address they issues then the group don’t give that candidate any support.

    6. Like I’ve said many times before, Obama is a Politician that happens to look like you because of same skin color. Obama can’t relate to Black folks because He was raised by racist White grand parents. Just because He married a Black woman don’t make Him Black tolerant, He just don’t feel comfortable around the average and the poor Black folks. Now Hollywod rich Negroes is different because He sees green instead of black. Wake up Black folks because Obama has FAILED Black America. Same skin color wil not pay the bills, or educate your kids or put food on the table. Blacks are Suffering under Obama weak leadership. When was the last time Obama’s bus stopped for a visit in your neighborhood. Wait For It. Forget Obama, it’s time to think about yourself. Don’t be afraid of Change. Change for the Better.

    7. It is unfortunate that the President won’t speak at the NAACP convention. However, I’m quite sure he has our best interests at hand. We have to remember that he is the President of the United States, not just African Americans. And for those who feel he has let us down, you have the right to do one of two things–vote for Romney or not vote at all, which will still be a vote for Romney. Don’t stay home! Get off your behinds in November to keep the President in office for another four years!

    8. When Mitt looks out over that sea of black faces at the NAACP convention,I hope
      He does not blurt out “Who let the dogs out” That won’t be a good move Mr Greedy.Whether the president shows up or not,the issue is,which candidate has
      Our interests in mind,which candidate would fight for us.Which candidate can relate to us.When you have made up your mind,get outta bed in November and go vote..

    9. When Mitt looks out over that sea of black faces at the NAACP convention,I hope
      He does not blurt out “Who let the dogs out” That won’t be a good move Mr Greedy.Whether the president shows up or not,the issue is,which candidate has
      Our interests in mind,which candidate would fight for us.Which candidate can relate to us.When you have made up your mind,get outta bed in November and go vote..

    Add Your Comment

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s